Sunday, May 24, 2015

Rádio Nacional Da Amazônia QSL Card Received

On May 22, 2015, I received a QSL card by registered mail from Rádio Nacional Da Amazônia in Brasilia verifying my monitoring report & audio file of their broadcast sent to them in early January 2015. The QSL verifies my reception of their transmission as heard from Mandarmani during ADXL DXpedition on 26th Dec, 2014 on 11780 kHz at 20:00 Hrs UTC RX Tecsun PL660, 90m long-wire antenna. Listen to my audio recording-

This is the second time that EBC (Empresa Brasil de Comunicação) - the Brazilian government-owned corporation that manages the government's radio and television stations, has verified my reception report. In June 2014 I had my first Reception Verification from Rádio Nacional Da Amazônia However, back then I had to remain satisfied with just email verification as because, EBC didn't had any QSLs in stock! After several follow-ups their reply was quite intriguing “We are unable to give you a date, but a public bidding process has been initiated to select a firm to print the cards.” (Translated from Portuguese)

As it seems now, my second attempt to QSL Rádio Nacional Da Amazônia didn’t go astray. Early in March 2015, I was seeing New EBC QSLs popping up in multiple Facebook groups and some personal blogs of DXers (especially from Japan and Latin America). After a good look I concluded that EBC is issuing the new cards only to fresh reports (those logged from B14 season onwards), Hence, although I was pretty sure that my earlier report (of Jan 2014) would not fetch me QSL card, I certainly kept my fingers crossed for my reception report of 26th Dec, 2014. Here are snaps taken just after opening the envelope from EBC.

Till next time, 73 from Kolkata, India.

KTWR QSL for Special Broadcast to Nepal

In the wake of the recent Earthquake in Nepal and the numerous aftershocks still rocking the Himalayan Nation causing havoc to life and environment, Trans World Radio (TWR) has put up a commendable initiative. TWR from its broadcast facility in the Island of Guam (KTWR) has started a daily Nepali broadcast on shortwave. Here’s the excerpt from the official TWR blog post “TWR is producing a one-hour program with four 15-minute segments in Nepali, Hindi, Bhojpuri, and English. The programs is on-air once a day, seven days a week, on shortwave (SW) from Guam to reach those closer to Mount Everest, where survivors may not be able to receive FM broadcasts.”


Just after getting the news of this special ‘disaster relief’ broadcast from KTWR Guam, I logged the transmission on May 3, 2015 from my QTH in Kolkata, India. SIO was a crisp 454 and the whole 1 hour transmission was monitored. Reception report was emailed to KTWR Frequency Co-ordination Department. On May 14, 2015, Kathy Gregowske confirmed my report with an e-QSL card.

I must mention that TWR is distributing over 5,000 radios to quake struck people in the core areas. If you want to bring hope to the shattered lives of countless Nepalese I ask you to donate to Asia Disaster Relief Fund. Spread the good word around by sharing this post on social media.

Pirate and Free Radio QSLs from Europe

Listening to Pirate and Free Radios is very popular among European and North American listeners & hobbyists. However, sitting here in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent, it is next to impossible to hear these broadcasts. The chief roadblocks are – low powered transmitters (mostly a few wattage of power) and  the broadcast timings (mostly early mornings and late afternoons CET & GMT) which is mid-day to early evening in this part of the world, hence unfavourable day-time propagation on the SW band plays havoc. To add to the tough luck, my QTH is in the busiest part of the city and full of QRM (human-generated interference) from use of everyday electronic gadgets. So it leaves me with no choice but to log and monitor Pirate and Free Radio stations from Europe and North America through remote receivers over an internet connection. The WebSDR at University of Twente, in particular, is my wonder toy! I spend hours listening to Pirate and Free Radio stations operating from the Adriatic to the British Isles and even across the pond from the Appalachians to the Rockies and beyond.

I am amazed to find so much interest in Pirate and Free Radios among listeners at a time when international broadcasters are closing their doors for shortwave radio listeners and dismantling historic transmitting facilities citing lame reasons like lack of funds, lack of listeners, policy change, evolving to a digital only presence and so on. I am into DXing for over 18 years now and I like to enjoy my hobby in all its shades. Having said that I must also confess that nothing beats the sheer charm of slowly turning the tuning knob of radios and adjusting the fine tune/ BW filter to hear voices from across the seven seas! Notwithstanding, Web-SDRs and remote receiver logs are equally fascinating to me. 

With the intention to explore the world of Free Radios and Pirate Radios, I started sending e-reports of my monitoring of Pirate and Free Radio broadcasts since early 2015. I was fascinated to receive my first WebSDR* logged QSL from Radio Geronimo. Then one QSL followed another - Radio Quadzilla, Europa 24, Radio Underground, Radio Merlin InternationalAtlantic 2000 Internationall, and a few more are in the queue.

Radio Geronimo Shortwave QSL, Germany
Quadzilla Radio QSL, East Holland

Europa 24 QSL, Germany

Atlantic 2000 International QSL, Germany

Radio Underground QSL, England

Radio Merlin International QSL, England

Radio Merlin International QSL, England

         Radio Carrierwave QSL, The Nederlands

I must add here that although these are QSLs received after monitoring hours of radio broadcasts (with a Wide Band WebSDR) I would personally consider these as my souvenirs for general listenership. When it comes to ‘real’ QSL hunting and collecting I prefer to remain old school. In the coming months I will keep on adding exotic pirate & free radio mementos to my collection here and will share with you from time to time. Stay connected. 73's